The Mary Celeste Mystery
The Mary Celeste is the pre-eminent sea mystery of all time. Her passengers were last seen on the day she set sail, then never found after this.
In 1860 a 103 foot half-brig was built in Nova Scotia, and set sail for the first time in 1861. This Brigatine was known as the Amazon. After passing through many ownerships, she was transferred to the registry in America, as the Mary Celeste. Sometime after the transfer, the
Mary Celeste was bought by Captain Briggs.
Benjamin Briggs was an experienced seaman at the age of 37 when he took ownership of the Mary Celeste. On November 5, 1872 the Mary Celeste set sail from New York Harbor to Genoa Italy, carrying 1700 barrels of crude alcohol. Aboard her was Captain Briggs, his wife Sarah, their 2 year old daughter Sophia, and a crew of 8. Those on board were never seen again.
The Dei Gratia, heading for Gibraltar came across the Mary Celeste on December 4, 1872 east of the Azores. Two officers, Oliver Deveau and John Wright, went aboard the Mary Celeste to investigate, after there was no reply from her. There were no real damages to the ship, and it
appeared that none of the cargo was missing. What was missing though, was the only life boat,
and the passengers who had set sail on her. It was evident that the Mary Celeste had been abandoned in a rush, as no personal belongings were removed. Nothing was found to explain the reason for abandonment.
No one ever saw the passengers of the Mary Celeste again, neither dead nor alive. The disappearance of this crew is considered the pre-eminent sea mystery of all time. Of course there have been many theories as to what happened aboard the ship, but still the mystery remains unsolved.